Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30-31

"Our departing flesh will never abandon us."

--Line of a poem sent by a valued PDPBR subscriber; image from


"Vatican Protest Of Sexual Abuse Stopped By Italian Police (VIDEO, PHOTOS) ... Watch video from the protest from the Voice of America"


Elusive hearts and minds - Huma Yusuf, "Washington sees bilateral foreign assistance as a way to sway public opinion and foster stability by earning the trust of elusive hearts and minds. But while the US has given Pakistan over $18bn in military and civilian aid since 2001, only 17 per cent of Pakistanis view the US favourably, according to a Pew Research Centre survey from June. These contradictory statistics suggest that the harder the US tries to improve its image by doling out bucketfuls of aid, the more suspicious of its motives Pakistanis become. ... As the debate rages about the ability of aid to win hearts and minds, the US should clarify why Pakistani public opinion matters. Is this just an egotistical concern, whereby the US cannot abide by the fact that there are some people who, despite receiving its billions, continue to hate its guts? Or is this a genuine security concern that plays directly into America’s stated goal for this region (to guarantee that Pakistan and Afghanistan are not used as launching pads for attacks against the US) and presumes that people are more likely to bomb those they hate? In the latter case, US policies face a difficult challenge.

Developmental aid may just succeed in winning over average Pakistanis in coming years. But average souls pose fewer threats to US security. The danger is increasingly coming in the form of Faisal Shahzad and Farooque Ahmed, another Pakistani-born US citizen who was arrested this week for plotting to bomb Metro stations in Washington DC. These Pakistanis are acutely aware of Washington’s schizophrenic policies in Pakistan that couple developmental aid and drone attacks. They are not likely to be won over by a sack of rice or a maternity ward. They are more interested in seeing the US alter its foreign policy with regard to drone attacks, relations with India, the conflicts in Kashmir and Palestine, and more. If it is Pakistanis like these the US aims to entice, it should focus less on winning hearts and minds and more on changing its policies." Image from article, with caption: "US special envoy Richard Holbrooke spoke in support of major, visible aid projects such as bridges that could win back the appreciation of the Pakistani people." See also John Brown, "Richard Holbrooke: Able and Insufferable," Huffington Post.

Obama's India visit will feed Pakistan's sense of insecurity‎ - Mosharraf Zaidi, "Pakistani complaints about how it is treated by the US have come to constitute the very foundation of Pakistan-US relations. The real fuel to the fire that is burning a hole in the hearts and minds of Pakistanis (the hearts and minds that US public diplomacy laboriously strives to win) is the blossoming courtship between the US and India. As fading global American power seeks anchors in an increasingly multipolar world, the growing perception that India — despite all its attendant and existential challenges — is going to be a vital economic power in the world, draws great attention in Washington DC. The US-India relationship, in the epic words of Right Said Fred has 'legs that go on for miles and miles.' India’s place in the American calculus is stable, sustainable and deep-rooted. Why? Primarily because American interest in India is driven by qualities that India wants to be known for — trade, commerce, innovation, creativity, and enterprise. The dominant narrative of India in the US is one of economic potential and hope. Pakistani envy at the strong roots of this organic relationship is understandable. America’s interest in Pakistan is not driven by qualities that any country wants to be known for — terrorism, poverty, instability and conflict. The dominant narrative of Pakistan in the US is of insecurity and fear."

QU law students conclude US visit - "Six students of College of Law at Qatar University (QU)

concluded a trip to the US where they visited judicial sites in Washington DC, and law schools in New York. The week-long trip was organised and sponsored by the US Embassy in Qatar. The objective of the trip was to provide the students with practical exposure and experience with the US legal system and legal education system. The trip also aimed at promoting cross-cultural understanding between Qatari and US law students. ... They were briefed by [among others] ... Patricia Kabra, Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, US State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs." Image from

US Agencies Team Up to Support Iraqi Universities‎ - Eoghan Cullen, NewsBlaze: "The Basra Provincial Reconstruction Team and Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment recently visited two Basra universities to increase students' awareness of various educational opportunities. Jeff Lodermeier, assistant cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and three PRT members visited the north and south campuses of the University of Basra in October. 'The goal of these visits is to support the education initiatives in multiple ways,' Lodermeier said. During the visits, the PRT's public diplomacy officers spoke with students about scholarship opportunities and studying abroad in the United States."

Image: Jeff Lodermeier, assistant cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, speaks to a class of students at the University of Basra-North about scholarship opportunities and study abroad programs.

Ghosts, goblins, and VOA Persian News Network detractors - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "In many languages of US international broadcasting, two stations transmit: VOA and a 'Radio Free' station. In theory, VOA limits itself to news about the United States and the world in general, and the surrogate station provides news about the target country. In reality, the theory is absurd, because it forces the audience to tune to two stations get complete news coverage. A less crazy dichotomy for US international broadcasting to Iran would be for one television channel to broadcast objective, reliable, comprehensive news. That would be VOA PNN. Another channel can devote itself to screeds that are anti-Tehran and pro whichever of the several Iranian exile factions that manages to get control of the station. This channel would be unabashedly biased. It might have content called 'news,' which is to say it's not really news. Both channels can be beamed into Iran using a comparable array of satellites. After a year or so, audience research, which can be conducted, after a fashion, in Iran, would determine which channel Iranian viewers prefer. Because it's a matter of letting the market decide, the Heritage Foundation should go for the idea."

International broadcasting and the Burmese election: "enough funds" for VOA Burmese? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "VOA Burmese is now on a 'surge' schedule of six hours per day (includes repeats), plus 60 minutes of television per week. After the election, it will return to its normal schedule, though I'm not sure how many hours that is. In 2006, VOA transmitted only 1.5 hours a day. ... The VOA and RFA Burmese services divide and compete for scarce resources, and report on many of the same stories. To complicate things, television has become popular in Burma, and many Burmese are seeking out foreign television channels via satellite. For US international radio to Burma,

the division of resources is harmful. For US international television, it will be fatal. If US international broadcasting can be reformed, it will probably discover that it already has 'enough funds.'" Image from

Sanity Rally and Cold-War Public Diplomacy - John Brown, Huffington Post: "All of a sudden, I felt back in Central Europe during the Cold War. But this was Washington, D.C., on October 30, 2010. At the Rally to Restore Sanity in the imperial capital yesterday, the mood reminded me of my postings as a U.S. Foreign Service public diplomacy officer in Prague (1983-1985) and Krakow (1986-1990). In Prague, working with the Jazz Section, I used the small garden of my 'official' residence near the Vltava river (with its then ever-present swans) as a venue for Jazz concerts. Most of the Czechs attending these events were 'dissidents' -- a hard word to define, but meaning persons (mostly young) who looked beyond the narrow, parochial views of a dinosaur communist regime. Humor and irony were an essential part of their politics. Living in an Orwellian society in many ways absurd, they used as sanity tools gentle you-know-what-I-mean winks, and, above all, music. Least on their minds was violence. ... In Krakow, home of one of Europe's oldest universities, the Piwnica pod Baranami, a cabaret full of wit and energy, was kind (and courageous) enough to establish contact with American diplomats. Its stellar cellar performances on late-night occasions were highlighted by the singing of Anna Szałapak, with whom it was impossible not to fall in love. After the cabaret returned from the United States on a tour, a reception was held in its honor at the American Consulate in Krakow. The leader of the group, the unforgettable Piotr Skrzynecki,

brought his pet goat to the party." Skrzynecki image from article

Pambassadors in the Post - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "Flipping through the Washington Post this morning, I came across this, a news supplement 'prepared by China Daily, People's Republic of China,' in the style of Russia Today. ... The presence of the supplement was no surprise. This blog has reported on China's expanding PD efforts before. According to the website, China Daily's U.S. edition was launched in 2009 and 'its circulation includes the United Nations Headquarters, government agencies of the United States and Canada, universities, think tanks, major financial institutions and many high-tech companies.' But I have to wonder how effective these supplements actually are. The writing is about as subtle as an episode of Jackass, and it's hard to read stories about the stresses of white collar capitalism without the word 'propaganda' popping into your head. And who, exactly, are these supplements targeting? As I understand it, the Washington Post's print subscribers essentially consist of me and a few dozen Luddites scattered around the city. I attempted to call the China Daily offices in D.C. and New York for more information, but went to voice mail both times. China is nothing if not consistent."

France leaps ahead of Britain, Germany as key Kazakh partner‎ - Martin Sieff, Central Asia Newswire: France is now springing ahead of Britain and Germany as Kazakhstan’s main industrial trading partner in Western Europe. The change is due to diplomatic and financial, as well as industrial, factors. This week, French and Kazakh firms celebrated the signing of no less than $2.7 billion in lucrative new industrial and development deals. The agreements were especially welcome to embattled French President Nicolas Sarkozy. ... Indeed, Kazakh President Nazarbayev went out of his way this week to publicly endorse Sarkozy and support him on the economic austerity measures he is enforcing.

That kind of support for the domestic policies of even allied nations is unusual in public diplomacy. ... Now the Kazakhs are encouraging their major corporations to get listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the second largest in terms of capitalization in all of Asia after Tokyo. That move is widely seen as moving the main center of Kazakhstan’s financial operations halfway around the world from the City of London to be based in and focused on East Asia. And to add insult to injury, the British Consulate and the culture-promoting British Council may be evicted from the prestigious historic building they have long occupied in Kazakhstan's biggest city Almaty. BTA Bank is trying to gain control of the building. A Kazakh court last week annulled BTA's prior sale of the building to its current owners, Samal properties. If BTA regains control, there is widespread speculation in Almaty business circles that British institutions will be evicted." Image from

Buttressing Pak-Turkish linkages - Shanzeh Iqbal, "The relations between Turkey and Pakistan are entrenched deeply. Both the countries share a common vision on many regional and international issues. The relations are based on mutual respect, trust and interest. The two countries face the same challenges and a common cultural heritage. Turkey has acknowledged on many forums the sacrifices offered by the Pakistani nation and its army in waging a war on terror. Turkey has rendered an unflinching support to Pakistan. Times have proved it. ... The sectors where the [Pakistan] government has to work include increased corporate sector cooperation, greater people to people contacts, exchange of students, media and intellectuals. Along with this transport, telecommunications, energy, water, public diplomacy and other industries are the areas where the attention must be focused. We must take advantage of the existing potential of Turkey. This can be a way to avert the looming shadows of misfortune hovering over the economy of Pakistan."

Joint Senior College-Camden Conference Forum on Asia - Camden Conference: "The Belfast Senior College and the Camden Conference are pleased to announce a jointly sponsored forum on political themes related to the 2011 Camden Conference topic 'The Challenges of Asia'. The event begins with a presentation titled 'The Politics of US-China Relations' by November’s Senior College Distinguished Speaker, David Firestein. ... David J. Firestein

is EWI's Director of Track 2 Diplomacy; in this capacity, he leads EWI's China, Russia and United States initiatives, reporting to the president. A career U.S. diplomat from 1992 to 2010, Firestein is an expert in China, Russia, public diplomacy and U.S. politics. In his Foreign Service career, he served at the U.S. embassies in Beijing and Moscow. Firestein speaks near native-level Chinese and fluent Russian and has interpreted for senior U.S. officials in both languages." Firestein image from article.


Culture Club: Reston Salon offers eclectic mix of conversation, culture - Alex McVeigh, "Reston residents don’t have to go far to find interesting conversations. The Chez Nous Salon, hosted by Najwa Saad, offers residents from all over Northern Virginia the chance to explore art, culture, science and other topics as explained by experts from all over the world. ... This month’s salon featured a presentation from Virginia Shore, the curator and acting director of the Art in Embassies Program of the Department of State. Her presentation was titled 'The Role of Art in Cultural Diplomacy' and she described her department’s role in collecting and displaying American art all over the world. 'Art plays an important role in all of our diplomatic facilities, it is a powerful tool of American diplomacy,' Saad said. 'Art for art’s sake is powerful, it stimulates gathering and exchange and bridge building wherever it happens.' Shore spoke of helping ambassadors find art to decorate their embassy, and the various levels of involvement.

'Some ambassadors are very involved, wanting to pick just the right pieces to reflect certain aspects of culture, and some are just concerned with matching color swatches,' she said. She also noted the various styles of various presidential administrations, and how it affected their collecting of arts. She said that George W. Bush’s administration was marked by a fondness for Western-style art, while Bill Clinton’s was big on abstract impressionism. ... More information about the Chez Nous Salon can be found on Twitter at, or at Image from article: Kathi Robinson, realtor, Reston, pictured with Najwa Saad

Looking East: Real J-info for fans in Japan and around the world - Takamasa Sakurai - The Yomiuri Shimbun: "In addition to my work as Japan's pop culture ambassador, I work as chief executive editor for Tokyo Kawaii Magazine, a digital magazine app for the iPhone. Toshihiro Fukuoka, who is chief executive editor of weekly magazine Shukan Ascii, is responsible for the actual editing as editor in chief; I'm more of an advisor, but I've been involved in the publication since its inception. In summer and autumn 2008, I realized we are amid a world kawaii revolution; I heard girls in Europe talking about how they wanted to be Japanese, or that Japanese high school uniforms symbolize freedom. Fukuoka was the first person to truly recognize the meaning and significance of the movement. While visiting a number of countries through my cultural diplomatic efforts, I have come across several magazines with 'Japan' as part of their name. But the Japan-related information in these magazines was often unsatisfactory for the local fans of Japanese pop culture. I began to see the potential in producing a Japanese pop culture magazine in Japan for readers in other countries and felt the first edition should be in English. Fukuoka, who--like me--attended the Japan Expo in Paris in July 2009 and Salon del Manga in Barcelona in October 2009, felt the same way. The time had come. While I toured Russia, Brazil, South Korea and China for my cultural diplomacy programs, Fukuoka proceeded with preparations for the launch of Tokyo Kawaii Magazine. To make it possible for people around the world buy it at the same time it is released in Japan, we decided to make the magazine an app for the iPhone. We started with the English version, and are planning to release it in Spanish, and then in French."

Seattle Peace Chorus Wine Tasting - Lift Your Glass for Peace!‎ - press release, WebWire: "In June 2011, a delegation of singers will travel to Israel and the West Bank continuing the Seattle Peace Chorus’ 26 year tradition of spreading a message of peace and justice through song.

The 10 day trip will be an opportunity to learn some of the realities and challenges facing the people- Jewish, Palestinians, and Muslim; an opportunity to do compassionate listening; to offer encouragement thru song and to visit various historical sites. The chorus was started during the cold war. For the past 26 years they have been doing citizen-to-citizen cultural diplomacy through trips to the former Soviet Union, Chile, Cuba, and Venezuela." Image from

"India: Asian Sub-Continent Giant" - Press Release, PRLog: "Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador to the United States, will discuss India: Asian Sub-Continent Giant on the November 17 at the Stamford Yacht Club. ... Ambassador Shankar served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office from 1985 to 1991; was posted to Washington DC and served as Commerce Minister from 1991 to 1995. Thereafter, she headed the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi overseeing India's cultural diplomacy. Subsequently she moved to the Ministry of External Affairs. After promotion to the rank of Additional Secretary in 2002, she held the responsibility for the United Nations and International Security. Her last assignment was as Ambassador of India to Germany from December 2005 to April 2009. Ambassador Shankar has been posted to Washington since April 2009."


One of Those Fabulous Flights: How a scrawny Italian kid from Jersey learned to feel the words and redefined the Great American Songbook - Eddie Dean, Wall Street Journal: You can go anywhere in the world, the saying goes, and if you can find yourself a nice, classy place where civilized people are gathered, it's a sure bet you will hear a Frank Sinatra song. It doesn't matter what language is spoken.

Everybody understands at least a line or two of Lingua Frank, and who knows how many have ditched their Berlitz tapes to instead tackle English to the immaculate phrasing of 'Time After Time' or 'Young at Heart'? A classic Sinatra song defines that elusive quality 'class' as much as any other American cultural export, and it's no small irony that it's what Sinatra aspired to and yet so often felt he lacked." Image from


The smell of America says, ‘Come in and buy.’ The smell of Russia says, ‘Ladies and gentlemen: Russia!’ ”

Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia

"The French love to hate American food."

--Renée Kaplan, "Très français: An American at the table," Princeton Alumni Weekly (November 3, 2010), p. 33


From Boing Boing

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29

"We sipped Beer beer. That isn't a typo, the beer is called 'Beer.' The slogan is 'Beer na beer,' Beer is beer. That's simple marketing I can respect."

--Gastrodiplomat Paul Rockower, writing from the Philippines; see also; image from


The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary. Includes "The 25 Rules for Effective Communication" (Chapter 1); "Poster that Work" (Appendix IV)


Pakistan Descends - William R. Hawkins, "The delegations led by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met in Washington Oct. 20-22 for what was the third ministerial-level meeting of the Strategic Dialogue. ... The war against terrorism was only mentioned twice in the joint statement issued on Oct. 22 . ... Afghanistan was never mentioned. 'Counter-terrorism' was mentioned once, as part of a laundry list of issues which included agriculture, communications, public diplomacy, defense, energy, finance, economic cooperation, health, law enforcement, water, and women’s empowerment." Below image from

Our Foreign Minister's questionable conduct - Saida Fazal, "Overwhelmed by the importance he received in the US during the 'Strategic Partnership Dialogue' (which is not something to be proud of, for it is about American officials micromanaging our domestic affairs in almost every field of national endeavour, from security to economy, and from energy to agriculture and health care), Qureshi [Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi] thought it fit to give unsolicited advice to Iran on how it should conduct its relations with Washington. Said he, 'this administration has been extending the olive branch; make use of it. Engage the world.' In other words, Iran is behaving badly and needs to mend its ways. The Foreign Minister certainly needs an intensive course in public diplomacy etiquette. Friendly nations' government officials are not supposed to criticise one another in a third country - especially a hostile one."

Washington Must Take a Stronger Stand on Russia-Venezuela Nuclear Deal - ‎Jonathan Pearl, Huffington Post: "A good first step might be for the Obama administration to privately urge Russia to make construction of nuclear plants in Venezuela contingent upon Caracas signing an Additional Protocol agreement with the IAEA. This agreement would grant Agency inspectors broad latitude to investigate Venezuelan nuclear activities and, thus, provide an important buffer against diversion of civilian nuclear material for military purposes.

Washington's behind-the-scenes push could be accompanied by a public effort to emphasize the Iran-Venezuela connection, particularly in the context of U.S., EU, and UN Security Council sanctions. If the Obama administration is able to frame the debate in this way through deft public diplomacy, it would raise the political stakes and give greater currency to its entreaties to Moscow. Simply put, the United States cannot afford to sit on the sidelines in a world where states have often pursued nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian programs, least of all when it comes to Venezuela and its friends in Tehran." Image from

U.S.-India People to People Conference in Washington DC - Tabitha Berg, posted at "The U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with the Indian American Leadership Council and the American India Foundation, will hold the U.S.-India People to People Conference in the Department’s Loy Henderson Auditorium October 28, 2010 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In anticipation of President Obama’s visit to India, this event seeks to highlight the crucial role of Indian Americans in the ever-strengthening U.S.-India relationship. ... The People to People Conference represents the shared belief of the United States and India that through a multitude of people-to-people connections between our two countries, the U.S.-India partnership will continue to flourish." Image from

An interaction with Editor, American Libraries - Partners In Public Diplomacy: A Blog from The Participants Of The LVLP Program 2009 Organized by Department of State: "As Lincoln Corner Karachi Coordinator, I had a welcome meeting with Mr. Leonard Kniffel, Editor ALA American Libraries Magazine. To welcome Mr. Kniffel to Karachi, and discussed different issues and scenarios in Pakistani Libraries and Librarians, I was accompanied by Chief Librarian, Institute of Business Administration IBA Library, Director Sindh, Pakistan Library Automation Group and AIRC Director. ...

On my end, I shared with Mr. Kniffel, about my initiatives at Lincoln Corner, and its marketing as a model American Library here in Karachi and how we remain successful to win the audience in our programs in this digital age." Image from article

Listen Up! - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "The idea that Iraqis -- or anyone, for that matter -- would appreciate having an opportunity to address their leaders and help shape the narrative of their day-to-day lives, is hardly surprising. What is surprising is how little U.S. public diplomacy does to contribute to initiatives like this, particularly in the realm of broadcasting. ... While some aspects of U.S. engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan are collaborative, U.S. radio broadcasts are often not. As the almost exclusive generator of messages in this context, the United States reinforces existing power dynamics, treating radio audiences, for the most part, as passive recipients of information and not co-creators."

NATO Integration, Kosovo Top Agenda of Parliamentarians' Visit to Serbia - "Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, Kosovo, and the situation in South Serbia, were the key themes of the visit of a delegation of 8 members of Parliament from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Democratic Governance to Serbia on 22-23 October. ... Realism and pragmatism were at the heart of the current government’s approach to NATO, the delegation heard. Serbian parliamentarians and defence officials

alike emphasized how the NATO debate in Serbia was still very emotional, marked by the 1999 Kosovo air campaign, which left Belgrade with scars still visible today. ... In the meantime, the current government favoured a progressive approach, aimed at using, to the fullest extent possible, the opportunities provided by the Partnership for Peace, including through the conclusion of an Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO in 2011. Public diplomacy was seen as the biggest problem at the political level." Image from

Failing memory, false hope: In his final Knesset address, Rabin rejected two-state vision, return to ’67 borders - Martin Sherman, "Israel is still accused of intransigence - not only by its foes but by those who feign friendship. Still it is pressed for ever more far-reaching concessions - now not even to reach a permanent settlement, but merely so the Palestinians might deign to resume negotiations. This situation clearly reflects catastrophic defeat for Israel's public-diplomacy and a scathing indictment of those responsible for conducting it."

Government's Public Diplomacy Division gets prestigious e-governance award for 2010 - Calcutta News.Net: "The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs was on Thursday given the prestigious India eGov 2.0 Awards 2010 for the most innovative use of social media and Web 2.0 tools in government. ... In the last six months, the division has launched a series of digital diplomacy initiatives that have made it one of the first Government of India organisations to tap into the potential offered by social media and Web 2.0 tools. These include (a) A Twitter page ( that has already acquired close to 3500 followers and provides regular information and updates on foreign policy issues; (b) A YouTube channel ( that hosts 21 documentary films and will increasingly provide access to activities organised by India's diplomatic missions; (c) A blogspot account ( that provides a platform for discussing issues raised in the popular MEA Distinguished Lecture Series on India's foreign policy; (d) A Facebook page ( that flags upcoming events and shares information on a

range of foreign policy related issues; (e) Accounts on online publishing sites like Issu and Scribd to make the ministry's flagship India Perspectives magazine accessible to the online community; (f) A new website ( that, inter alia, seeks to build a positive narrative about India in terms of its development partnerships with various countries, about the reach and impact of India's soft power and about activities of India's diplomatic missions." Image from

India to partner African resurgence, denies China rivalry - "[A] day-long seminar, organised by the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank, focused on the economic resurgence of Africa and explored different models of engaging the resurgent continent that boasts of some of the fastest growing economies in the world. ... Navdeep Suri, joint secretary (public diplomacy) in the MEA, [was] among those who participated in the discussions."

Elections, the 2003 Constitution and Rwanda’s Democratic Deficit - "The 2003 elections [in Rwanda] formally established what some political scientists would term an 'illiberal democracy.' Shortly after the 2003 presidential and parliamentary elections, the RPF replaced the 1991 Rwandan constitution. The new constitution made 'denial' and 'minimalization' of the 1994 genocide a crime punishable by law. It also set forth the crime of inciting 'divisionism,'

which is often leveled against dissidents and political opponents who talk about or talk in terms of ethnicity in Rwanda. These terms are all very vaguely defined, allow for a great deal of subjectivity, and provide a potential soft power tool of oppression for the regime. These laws were legitimized through public diplomacy as part of the regime’s national reconciliation strategy and, they claimed, to help prevent another genocide from taking place." Image from

Radio without borders turns 81 - "In 1929 Radio Moscow, currently known as the Voice of Russia, aired its first programme for listeners abroad. ... Now The Voice of Russia is going through many changes, coming up with new series of programmes, building new studios and newsrooms, and putting to use new technologies.

The broadcaster is achieving a more advanced technological level." Image from article

A surprising public diplomacy win - Matt Armstrong, "Yesterday I flew to San Francisco to apply in-person for a visa to Russia. ... The encounter with [a] twenty-something Russian official changed my opinion for the better. Of course, there was no where to go but up: any negative attitude would have been taken in stride, something that was expected. Overall, despite wasting nearly an entire day (much of which was my fault, not Russia’s), Russia scored a public diplomacy win."

Event – The Future of American Diplomacy – A Conversation at Belmont (Nov 9) - "How ready is the United States to deal with its many global challenges through the exercise of diplomacy? That’s the question being posed at a town hall meeting on America’s 'Foreign Affairs for the Future,' featuring U.S. Ambassador George Staples. The program, hosted by Belmont University and the Tennessee World Affairs Council, is set for 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9 . ... Staples served a 25-year Foreign Service career and is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, or AAD, which works to improve the quality of diplomatic representation aboard.

As part of that mission, the AAD undertook a major study to determine what is needed 'to enable the State Department and the Foreign Service to accomplish their missions in classic diplomacy, public diplomacy, development diplomacy, and reconstruction and stabilization,' according to the Academy. The next step is to bring the results on the future of American diplomacy to the public through nationwide briefings like the one in Nashville." Staples image from article


The wars we've left behind - Michael Gerson, Washington Post: Among the most striking developments of the 2010 campaign season is the vast silence on matters of war and peace. President Obama seldom raises the topic on the campaign trail, and his Tea Party critics have no discernible foreign policy. Reacting to a list of public issues, fewer than 10 percent of Americans rank the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as their top concern. When Gallup recently asked voters an open-ended question about their main priorities, war in general was brought up by 3 percent and Iraq by 1 percent. Afghanistan was an asterisk, mentioned by less than one-half of 1 percent of respondents.

Intelligence spending at record $80.1 billion in first disclosure of overall figure - Walter Pincus, Washington Post: The government announced Thursday that it had spent $80.1 billion

on intelligence activities over the past 12 months, disclosing for the first time not only the amount spent by civilian intelligence agencies but also by the military. The so-called National Intelligence Program, run by the CIA and other agencies that report to the Director of National Intelligence, cost $53.1 billion in fiscal 2010, which ended Sept. 30, while the Military Intelligence Program cost an additional $27 billion. Spending on intelligence for 2010 far exceeded the $42.6 billion spent on the Department of Homeland Security and the $48.9 billion spent on the State Department and foreign operations. Image from


"Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta may not sound famous, but the University of South Carolina is offering a course next spring devoted to her — and the sociology of fame.

Apparently one secret to becoming famous is to change your name. Ms. Germanotta now goes by Lady Gaga.

What else accounts for the soaring popularity of the 24-year-old global phenom? The question has intrigued and inspired Mathieu Deflem, 48, a sociology professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, who plans to teach a course called 'Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.' He believes it is the only such full-time college course in the country.

He wants to explore what makes a person famous and what being famous means in today’s culture. Or, as the course description puts it: 'The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga.'”

--Katharine Q. Seelye, Beyond ABCs of Lady Gaga to the Sociology of Fame, New York Times; image from


From Boing Boing

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 28

"Today, rock almost seems like a soft-power anachronism, along with most shortwave radio broadcasts; underwritten overseas English-language training; and other pricey, legacy public diplomacy programs paid for by the European Union and the United States."

--Andras Simonyi, former Hungarian ambassador to the United States and NATO and Markos Kounalakis, former publisher and president of Washington Monthly and currently a senior fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at Central European University in Budapest; image from


Guitars, Google, and guns: a new view of Western power‎: As the West gears up for a NATO summit, free nations must consider how to be smarter about their tools of influence - Andras Simonyi - Markos Kounalakis, Christian Science Monitor: "How is the free world going to lead in an age when its values are increasingly under attack? When it is facing threats and challenges unknown in the past? And when its economic model – the source of our power and freedoms – is being questioned? ... The buzzword for dealing with these challenges in the corridors of power in Washington and European capitals is 'smart power.' But a buzzword is no substitute for honest reflection. What the West needs most is a fresh look at the full range of its capabilities and interests. Only then can its power fulfill its purpose. Seen as a wonder tool, smart power has been embraced as a fresh and benign aspect of power; a definably formulaic mix of soft (cultural) power and hard (military) power. The reality is that the need for hard power has not vanished. And soft power alone will never suffice to win a war, push down threatening dictators, or keep a peace. We still live in a world that requires both swords and plowshares. ... Power – hard or soft, American or European – is still just power and it is spectral. At the two ends of the visible power spectrum

are the extremes: strategic nuclear forces at one end and cultural diplomacy on the other. Hot, hard war tactics are on the red end of the spectrum and cool, soft sells to societies are at the opposite, bluer end. There is a lot of space in between: for example, military assisted humanitarian actions or helping fight devastating disease in Africa. ... The concept of spectral power is essentially a new way of looking at our power toolbox in a more integrated manner. Free and democratic countries, alliances, and organizations will have to begin to see more clearly the subtle colors, shades, and mixtures of power that a full and wide spectrum view allows. The most important expected result will be a framework that will help define a more efficient and effective use of our human, economic, military, scientific, and cultural assets." Image from

CSF to give $750 million by November-end: Tapi project, land surveying mapping bill approved by Cabinet - Jalil Hassan Akhtar, Business Recorder: "The Federal Cabinet in its 66th meeting held here at Governor's House on Wednesday with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in the chair, expressed satisfaction over the recently concluded third round of Pak-US Strategic Dialogue. ... He [Federal Minister Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira] said the PPP-led coalition government had the credit of expanding the scope of this strategic dialogue from five to 13 sectors, adding that now the food security, agriculture, industry, energy as well as public diplomacy and IT sectors had also been incorporated in the dialogue. The Pak-US relations were being made people-centric to strengthen democracy in Pakistan, he said."

Head of USA Pavilion says its expo commission accomplished‎ - Xinhua: "The USA Pavilion has achieved its goal of public diplomacy in China with the Expo serving as an unparalleled platform to communicate with the vast public of the country, the United States commissioner-general to the Expo said. But the eagle-shaped structure, for which the world's largest economy scrambled

together 61 million U.S. dollars from corporate funding for construction and operation, is unlikely to remain on its original site in the Expo Garden, according to Jose Villarreal. 'The Expo authority is mandating that all the Expo Garden be removed, except for a few permanent structures such as the China Pavilion,' Villarreal was quoted as saying by Thursday's China Daily, adding that the regulation and rules have yet to be finalized by Expo authorities. ... And after 180 days of operation, the 5,600-square-meter pavilion has welcomed more than 7 million visitors. That is one of the largest for a foreign participant at the Expo, which attracted more than 190 nations." Image from

A Response from VOA’s Director - Alex Belida, VOA Media Watch: "[VOA] Director Austin notes a decision was made long ago by U.S. government-funded international broadcasters 'that Americans living abroad and English speakers in democracies that enjoy a free press are already well served by commercial television and don't require programming subsidized by American taxpayers.' He goes on to say that at VOA, 'we continually work to improve our television efforts--over 300 hours of original television are produced every week... These programs are in the vernacular language of the markets to which they're broadcast, and are often carried as part of a local affiliate's program mix.' That said, VOA does offer English-language video, audio and text through our English-language web portal, which is accessible to anyone with an Internet connection."

VOA's English-teaching program adds mobile apps - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Radio giveaway in Afghanistan goes awry: "We were mobbed" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting:

"'Radio Liberty' is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which has lately been abbreviating itself RFE rather than RFE/RL. Its service for Afghanistan is called Radio Azadi (competes with VOA's Radio Ashna), unless its for the part of Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, in which case it's called Radio Mashaal (competes with VOA's Deewa Radio). Maybe better for RFE to become a wholesaler, ensuring that low-cost radios with adequate frequency coverage get to the shops and tradesmen." Image from; see also.

Commando Solo may add digital transmitters - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Nagorno-Karabakh deserves more attention from US & EU‎ - RIA Novosti: "The presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet on October 27

to discuss the unresolved conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave inside Azerbaijan with an ethnic Armenian majority. Russia has long acted as the principal mediator in the dispute. ... Alexei Vlasov, editor in chief of Vestnik Kavkaza, a news and analysis website devoted to the Caucasus, shares his views with RIA Novosti’s Samir Shakhbaz. [Vlasov:] ... I believe Russia has struck the right note. Russia is providing consistent support for the negotiations and trying to come up with different ways to resolve the dispute. For example, public diplomacy or the gradual return of refugees – in other words, anything that could move the process past this deadlock. I don’t see any other options. The recent protocols signed by Armenia and Turkey has shown that Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov can exert pressure, but ultimately the public will have the final say. And the public does not see any possibility for an open, honest and transparent reconciliation at this point, but let’s hope it will some day." Image from article: The presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

Sweden named 'best embassy' in US capital‎ - The "The Swedish embassy in Washington, DC has been named the city's best embassy by the readers of the Washington Post newspaper, by virtue of its design and programme of events. ... The embassy is now conducting its 11th Public Diplomacy programme which has its starting point in Sweden's progressive image and spans politics, culture, trade and research/science."

Top Israeli chef cooks for homeless - Suzanne Kurtz, Washington Jewish Week - "Top Israeli chef Mika Sharon, her face flushed and her hair swept up in a clip, last week shared with her D.C. dinner guests the Mediterranean-inspired menu that she had prepared for them. ... These dinner guests, however, weren't typical: They were homeless. ... During her four-day visit to Washington, Sharon, who apprenticed at trendy and well-known New York establishments like Nobu and Tribeca Grill, also prepared a private lunch for World Bank executives. The Miriam's Kitchen meal

was included on her visit because, said Noam Katz, the embassy's minister of public diplomacy, 'We saw Mika's visit as an opportunity to also do something for the local community.'" Sharon image from article

China Radio Int'l to reach out to Nepali listeners through FMs‎ - Raj Koirala, Republica: "As a part of its growing engagements in Nepal lately, China is preparing to take programs of China Radio International (CRI) among Nepali listeners across the country through local FM radios. ... As the China´s international radio station, CRI aims at promoting understanding and friendship between the people of China and people throughout the world with over 30 overseas bureaus. Currently, the radio broadcasts 1,520 hours of programs every day all over the world in 58 different languages. According to a research report published by Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) recently, China is using various components of public diplomacy to influence the media in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia lately." Image from

The Tiger's Tail cont - Paul Rockower, Levantine: India has been reaching out to Japan for trade and investment. I'm hoping to see these efforts accompanied by public diplomacy outreach in cultural diplomacy and exchange. But perhaps that is what this forum is for, to push such things. Meanwhile, I am wondering about Indian-Filipino public diplomacy.

I was in Cebu and saw a lot of Indians in the business district where there are a lot of IT projects and call centers. I'm curious if anyone in the network knows of specific Indian public diplomacy outreach to the Philippines. It is an interesting country for India and could be a good country for Indian pd. Maybe some call center exchange programs?" Image from

Maritime Bureau Blames Somali Pirates for Almost Half of Worldwide Attacks - "Pirates have seized nearly 2,400 hostages and have received an estimated $100 million in ransom. Many countries have sent naval forces to patrol the region. But since nearly 30,000 ships transit the Gulf of Aden each year it is a difficult area to protect. Silvia Kofler, Head of Public Diplomacy with the European Union Delegation in Washington, says the EU has been involved in the region since 2008 when it launched its first naval operation called 'Atlanta.'"

How easy to leave social media? - "John King, the CNN Live host,

expressed in his video message to the 3rd Annual Public Diplomacy Symposium at Syracuse University keynote speaker section, [his belief that] the boom of social media provides people more data but less certainty in current news circumstance. It was so easy to get lost in the mass media now than before." Image: CNN Ken-doll Chief National Correspondent John King and CNN congressional correspondent, Dana Bash from

life like a bouquet of flowers - "Happiness is the crystallization of the struggle, hard apology monument ④ happy, always shrouded in you. If you hand from the sparse public diplomacy over the rice bowl of the warm feel of Hope, that is happiness; as a result of your enemy's to read in the light, doubt, chewing friendship, that is happiness; if you stand alone corner, quietly listening to music, Er read attentively, that is happiness ⑤"

Media Specialist/Webmaster (Training level) - "The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli is seeking an individual for the position of Media Specialist/Webmaster in the Public Affairs Office (PAO). ... Excellent knowledge of Public Diplomacy (PD)

information tools and programs and media techniques is required." Image from


Time to reboot our push for global Internet freedom - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post: "[W]hile State is polishing its policy and preparing yet more training programs, Iranians and people from dozens of other countries are trying to get free access to the Internet. The technology exists to give it to them. State has the money in hand to pay for it. Yet after years of delay, the agency still hesitates to act. Via

$#*! My Prof Says - Laura McGinnis, manIC: "Prof. Pastor ... [in] a 2008 article for Foreign Affairs ... addresses

a few assumptions about U.S. security and economy and argues that Mexico and Canada have a greater impact on both than any other country. ... Hard power standards like economic collaboration, customs unions, and an investment fund to reduce the income gap between Mexico and its neighbors are part of this strategy. But it also relies on soft power as well, namely in the form of generating goodwill and a ... spirit of common purpose . ... [B]lind pursuit of personal interests will inevitably lead to going home alone--only slightly less crass . ... One suggestion involves sponsoring centers for North American studies ... to promote regional solidarity." Pastor image from

Palestinian Fair: ‘Propaganda’ or cultural awareness? - While many relish the chance to live in another county, Allison Schmitt says the two years she spent in Jerusalem left her “gut” in turmoil. Schmitt, who worked with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, says she witnessed first-hand what she felt was the systematic oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli government. Israel controls where Palestinians go to school, work and even where they live, Schmitt says.

Schmitt says the international media have largely ignored the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Which is why Schmitt and a group called Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel are hosting a Palestinian Fair at First United Church of Christ on Nov. 6. The intent of the fair, organizers argue, is not to be anti-Semitic, but to promote Palestinian culture and the issues they face. Image from article: Palestinian “dabkeh” dancers perform in a photo taken by Northfielder Allison Schmitt, who lived in Jerusalem for two years.

Propaganda war: The Indian media is happy to indulge its government every once in a while - For all its shortcomings, the Nepali media takes the role of permanent opposition more seriously than its Indian counterparts. However, when national integrity is under attack from foreign propaganda, the media has to line up with the government and the opposition to withstand the pressure.

British Propaganda Posters WW2 - The co-ordination of domestic propaganda in Britain during the Second World War was carried out mainly by the Ministry of Information, established at the outbreak of war in 1939. Its prime purpose was to sustain civilian morale and its functions included the production of propaganda posters both for itself and for other branches of Government.

These “weapons on the wall”, as they were sometimes known, had the advantage of being cheap to produce and easy to distribute. Posters were not the totality of Government wartime propaganda in Britain. They were often used as part of a coordinated campaign together with films, radio broadcasts, pamphlets, and articles and advertisements in newspapers and magazines. The most powerful mass medium of our contemporary society – television – was not, of course, available during the Second World War. Image from article

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27


--Acronym for Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction; image from


Jazz Broadcaster Willis Conover Remembered (2009)


Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest. Suggestions for future updates are welcome. Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #53

Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University
Georgetown University
(202) 994-6350


Redefining American Diplomacy and Development - Hillary Rodham Clinton, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2010: "Leading Through Civilian Power: I began my tenure as U.S. Secretary of State by stressing the need to elevate diplomacy and development alongside defense -- a 'smart power' approach to solving global problems. To make that approach succeed, however, U.S. civilian power must be strengthened and amplified. ... Engagement must go far beyond government-to-government interactions. In this information age, public opinion takes on added importance even in authoritarian states and as nonstate actors are more able to influence current events. Today, a U.S. ambassador creates ties not only with the host nation's government but also with its people. The QDDR [Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review] endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement every diplomat's duty, through town-hall meetings and interviews with the media, organized outreach, events in provincial towns and smaller communities, student exchange programs, and virtual connections that bring together citizens and civic organizations. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, a diplomat is as likely to meet with a tribal elder in a rural village as a counterpart in a foreign ministry, and is as likely to wear cargo pants as a pinstriped suit. Public diplomacy must start at the top. In Indonesia and Turkey, I conducted bilateral meetings with government officials, but I also met with civil-society leaders and appeared as a guest on popular television talk shows. I have held town-hall meetings with diverse groups of citizens on every continent I have visited, as I have done throughout my career.

Public events such as these are as much a part of my job as secretary of state as my meetings in foreign ministries, because the durability of the United States' partnerships abroad will depend on the attitudes of the people as well as the policies of their governments. In Washington, too, the State Department is streamlining and modernizing the way its conceives of and conducts public diplomacy. We are shifting away from traditional platforms and instead are building connections to foreign publics in regions once considered beyond the United States' reach. It makes no sense to allocate the greatest amount of resources to parts of the world where the United States' ties are already strong and secure and to minimize efforts where engaging the public is critical to success. ... An emphasis on civilian power is in keeping with America's history and traditions. The Marshall Plan was a civilian development initiative undertaken with European governments. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the drafting committee that produced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Decades before the term ‘soft power’ was coined, President John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps to show the world a different face of the United States. The American scientist Norman Borlaug was responsible for the 'green revolution' that fed millions of hungry people. U.S. diplomats helped negotiate the reunification of Europe in 1991 without a shot fired. Meanwhile, Americans have enjoyed the world's admiration because of their spirit of innovation, their abundant goodwill, and their audacious belief that technological, social, and political advances can and must be used to improve the lives of human beings around the world." Image from

Immigration and the Midterm Elections‎
- Aimee Rawlins, Council on Foreign Relations: "Decreases in skilled immigrants damage U.S. innovation, according to the Task Force Report [CFR Task Force Report], which also argues that immigrants' language and cultural experiences are important to intelligence-gathering and fighting wars abroad. Additionally, immigration helps improve international opinion of the United States, which dropped markedly from 1999 to 2008, according to a Pew global attitudes survey.

The Task Force found that 'one of the most successful forms of public diplomacy has been to allow non-Americans to see what the United States has achieved.'" Image from

60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: R/PPR Evaluation and Measurement Unit, Evaluation Survey Question Bank - "The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. ... Abstract of Proposed Collection [:] This generic collection is for performance measurement, program evaluation, customer satisfaction and attitudinal evaluation surveys. Included in this collection are questions designed to measure and evaluate the performance of programs, products and services provided by the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), and the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Office of Policy, Planning and Resources (R/PPR). Survey respondents include participants in PD programs, selected users of PD products and services, and others engaged in Department of State efforts."

The Future of U.S. International Broadcasting? - Alex Belida, VOA Media Watch: "Last week I asked for reader views on the challenges to U.S. international broadcasting. I received one very thoughtful response from Sten in Sweden that I would like to share with you all. Sten notes there is no VOA presence in Northern Europe (save via the web)

but he says the presence of other government financed broadcasts is, as he puts it, 'quite impressive.' ... Sten’s proposal is that the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees VOA, should 'try to finance an international channel produced by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS, the TV counterpart of NPR) and with PBS quality programming.'” Image from

Gallup Opens Abu Dhabi Center - Neal Ungerleider, Fast Company: "Polling giant Gallup has opened a new social research center in Abu Dhabi headed by a U.S. government appointee. But the center's affiliation with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Court has ramifications for public diplomacy. ... Public diplomacy experts see interesting smoke signals coming out of the Abu Dhabi center. Paul Rockower of the University of Southern California's Public Diplomacy Corps project notes that Gallup's affiliation with the Crown Prince Court may give them wiggle room on their operations: 'If they're established with the Court, Gallup might get some leeway from the government to ask more interesting questions but it really varies country-by-country. In-country polling firms are very careful as they know what will get them in trouble and they know where they can bend the rules.' Rockower also emphasized that landing Gallup was a major public diplomacy coup for both Abu Dhabi and the Emirates: 'It lets Gallup create a broader global presence and lets the Emirates, and Abu Dhabi in particular, further brand itself as a Gulf hub of research and scholarship. The Emirates has been working for a long time to conduct public diplomacy via nation branding to highlight its internationalist credentials. This is just one more piece of that branding push.'

For Abu Dhabi, bringing Gallup to the Emirate is just the latest in a series of savvy public diplomacy moves. The Crown Prince Court just donated $1 million to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for Middle Eastern projects and the larger Abu Dhabi government has taken on even more ambitious projects: Their collaboration brought New York University to Abu Dhabi and generous donations to American causes." Image from article

Hamas Divided: Time For A New Policy? - Tally Helfont, "Through public diplomacy and a degree of back-channel maneuvering, the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority should seek out elements within Hamas who are willing to curb resistance to the peace process in exchange for assurances that these factions will have a role in the future Palestinian state."

Radical Awakening: From America Hater to Hero - Matthew Vadum, posted at "Venezuela’s communist strongman, Hugo Chavez, began trying to embarrass the Bush administration by offering aid to the Katrina-hit Gulf Coast.

Chavez had already been running what political scientists call a 'public diplomacy' campaign in the U.S. to help bolster American support for his regime. The propaganda effort consisted of funneling discounted home heating oil to former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy’s, D-Mass., nonprofit group, Citizens Energy Corp." Chavez image from

Global Fusion Conference - Ah1908's Blog: "I attended the panel on Transnational Identity. The presentations included: 'Newspapers and public diplomacy: Influencing American views on the Muslim world' (Rebecca Williamson, Marietta U.) . ... In 'Newspaper and Public Diplomacy', Rebecca Williamson presented a case study of three U.S. newspapers and their presentation of American views on the Muslim world through articles in a two week period. She divided their tones into categories of distrust, hope, and fear, and also discussed statements of skepticism, equality, and hope mixed with negative emotions. She stated that public diplomacy is created through both government and media, not just through political means. She described the media as using spin to persuade and influence their readers. In her conclusion, she decided that Americans have a lack of understanding of Muslim culture that is not aided by negative media reports. She asked why the newspapers did not use their leverage to report on positive activities of Muslim Americans, especially in crisis times like the aftermath of September 11th. She concluded that newspapers did not clearly cover events in order to enhance public understanding of these issues. This can be applied to American understanding of Chinese media as well."

Check out the Army War College blog - " Most are familiar with Matt Armstrong and MountainRunner for all things Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication. I strongly recommend Dennis Murphy, a professor who oversees all things IO/cyber in the Army War College program,

is very active is the New/Now media area. In addition to frequent Twitter updates, he has a regular and official blog on the War College site, posting succinctly on Strategic Communication related topics. He periodically has guest bloggers." Image from

Obtaining Online Education in the government - "Energy policy, military operations, foreign policy, American politics and comparative are some areas of government policy that students can expect to study online. Students who specialize in comparative politics to find out about the different structures of world government. Students interested in working in public diplomacy may be a step in the merger [?], if the school focuses on international relations."

Perspective Public Relations - hackerandeducation [Goggle translation from Indonesian:] "Basically PR activities include: ... 16. Public Diplomacy: strengthen and improve relationships to open trade routes, tourism and cooperation between countries."

Internal Memo: Keith Richards - Christian Lorentzen, "It was 1983, and the Stones had just put out our Cold War ditty 'Under Cover of the Night.' Mick was in New York making some foolhardy solo record when I got a call from the Prime Minister's office. Apparently the PM had taken the song to heart and wanted the Glimmer Twins in to discuss foreign policy. I went for tea and cookies, a Stone alone. Turned out Maggie Thatcher

had got it in her head that it might be useful to Her Majesty for the band to go on tour behind the Iron Curtain for purposes of public diplomacy and intelligence gathering. But ... the whole thing was a wash. Maggie and I got to talking. I was grateful for her non-punitive tax policies, and she loved my riffs. Now I have never put the make on a girl in my life, but the Iron Lady and I looked at each other and the tension was so high there in 21 Downing, the next thing I know she's giving me a blow job. The tension broke then. Phew. And suddenly we're together." Richards image from article


Development aid in key Afghan province lacking in oversight, audit finds - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post: U.S. and other international development programs in a key Afghan province are "incoherent" and lack mechanisms to avoid wasteful overlap or to monitor their success, according to a new report by government auditors. More than $100 million in U.S. aid to Nangahar province, an area in eastern Afghanistan often cited as a model for success elsewhere in the country, was spent in fiscal 2010 with little or no input from local officials, according to the audit by the congressionally mandated Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.

A separate SIGAR report released Tuesday warned of insufficient training of U.S. Foreign Service officers and other government civilians working throughout Afghanistan as part of the Obama administration's "civilian surge." The number of civilians has tripled since early last year and is expected to reach 1,500 by January 2012, rivaling the U.S. Embassy in Iraq as the world's largest. The report said the State Department has done a good job of providing housing and other support for the rapidly growing workforce. But it faulted the effort to integrate civilian and military forces, saying that goals were often undercut by reliance on "ad hoc arrangements and individual personalities' rather than any agreed standards." Image from

Pierced Fans, Stiff Cadres and Hip Rock - Andrew Jacobs, New York Times: A shift in official sentiment — and among state-backed companies paying to have their logos splashed across the stage — has led to an explosion of festivals across China. In 2008, there were five multiday concerts, nearly all in Beijing. This year there have already been more than 60, from the northern grasslands of Inner Mongolia to the southern highlands of Yunnan Province. Without exception the festivals have been staged with the help of local governments that have come to realize that pierced rockers flailing around a mosh pit are not necessarily interested in upending single-party rule. More importantly, the governments have decided, for now at least, that music festivals can deliver something that even the most seasoned propagandists cannot spin out of thin air: coolness. Via MB.

The Best and the Rest - David Littlejohn, Wall Street Journal: Paris's Gare d'Orsay, a long-disused Beaux Arts train station, was converted into a museum in 1986.

When it was decided three years ago that part of the interior was to be redesigned and rebuilt, Guy Cogeval, the museum's new director, picked out two batches of more than 220 works by 64 artists (each batch with "Impressionist" in its title) to rent out to other museums with the time, space and money to show them. He had so many major works left at home that most museum- goers in Paris would never know anything was missing. And these two traveling shows were guaranteed to earn his museum a great deal in rental fees. Image from

The Press doesn’t question Israeli military propaganda tour as it comes through Grand Rapids
- Jeff Smith, On Saturday, the Grand Rapids Press ran a story in the religion section about two Israeli soldiers who were in town on a speaking tour. The Press article does mention that these soldiers were on speaking tour through a group called Stand With Us. After reading through the Stand With Us website it seems pretty clear that this is an organized and well funded effort to win over public opinion in favor of Israel. The website paints Israel as the victim in the conflict and that when the Israel military acts it is only for the safety and security of its citizens.

World War II Movies - Propaganda and Patriotism - Carl DiNello,

--Image from